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A SoCal Social Distancing Escape - Catch the Beautiful Poppies in Bloom

Visit Iconic Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve Now In Bloom Need to unplug? If you are like me, getting out of the house and enjoying nature is a must. With all that is going on in the world it’s hard to feel safe or comfortable venturing out. Living in Los Angeles, we are extremely lucky, the weather is beautiful and there is so many natural wonders available to see with only a short drive. One of the iconic beauties you could think about visiting is, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Though, the park is technically closed, due to the California Stay at home orders, many are still flocking to the park to check out the bloom while in season. I myself, decided to take the drive to check the Poppy Bloom while ensuring I was obliging to California social distancing rules. Thinking of going to check out the Famous Poppy Bloom? Here are the Top 5 Things You Need to Know: 1. It’s Worth The Hype! I can’t lie, it’s probably more exciting given all of California has been cooped up at home over the last 2 months. However, locked up or not, we can’t deny the beauty of nature. Also, anyone needing a pick me up, I recommend getting outside anyway. Now add in the powerful bright orange colors of Poppies and you’ll get an instant endorphin rush. 2. Where Can I Find the Poppies? Located in the hills of Lancaster, CA (about an hour and half drive north-east of Los Angeles), the drive is easy especially given there aren’t many travelers on the road at this time. The actual Poppy Reserve State Park is located 1/2 miles north of 150th St W & Lancaster Rd, but it is closed to the public. However, if you follow your GPS to: 15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536, there are multiple fields and hills around with blooms covered in orange. Once you get here, you can drive around to view all the poppies or walk along side to capture some photos! 3. Respect the Poppies! Since this is a natural reserve, you are not supposed to pick or step on the Poppies. This damages the flowers and stops the seeds from spreading. There have even been citations given to visitors for damaging flowers. So, do you best to respect and preserve this beauty, and don’t step on the blooms. 4. When Should You Go? Head out soon, the poppy bloom season started at the end of March and typically goes through mid-April, however the poppies should be out through the mid-summer months. We woke up to see the Poppies at sunrise. This required a 4am wake-up call but you don’t have to do the same. I enjoyed catching the sunrise over the poppies which was a change to all the other poppy photos we saw. At sunrise, we had the fields and views to ourselves. Perfect for social distancing. 5. Beware! Closed to the Public: I mentioned, the park is close, so the trails are shutdown, however you can capture the fields and hills from multiple areas outside of the park. Weather: You'll be heading to the Mojave Desert so the weather can change quickly. If going in the morning, it tends to be cold, however by mid-day you will feel the desert heat. Also, this time of year tends to be pretty windy so be prepared for some gusts! Allergies: the winds are around and help spread the seeds for plantation but with the winds are a lot of allergens. So if you are allergic to pollens, etc., I'd recommend taking any medications that help with your seasonal allergies. Citations: I mentioned there have been citations for people whom disrespect the poppies, picking or stepping on them. So do your best to respect and preserve the beauty! Rattlesnakes: the fields are known to be home of the Mojave Green Rattlesnake. The snakes tend to come out more in the day when it’s hot, which is why we chose to go at daybreak, in the cold, less risk! Head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos from your trip to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve here!

A SoCal Social Distancing Escape - Catch the Beautiful Poppies in Bloom

Hike to this Amazing Waterfall, right outside Los Angeles, CA

Top 7 Things You Need To Know About Switzer Falls Hike Trail to find the Waterfall Plus my BONUS recommendations how to prepare for the BEST waterfall adventure Check out the full video story, here. Take a Road Trip to a Waterfall near Los Angeles I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 10 years , I cannot believe I never knew about this sight! Three months into quarantine lockdown with no travel has really got me antsy! Luckily I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, Los Angeles, CA. With so much uncertainty on traveling, I jumped in my car for a road trip. Read on to learn about this quick day trip you can take to discover beautiful falls, less than an hour from central Los Angeles, CA. Top 7 Things You Need to Know about Switzer Falls 1. Why should you go? Who couldn't use an excuse to get outdoors today? Not only will this road trip take you out into nature (what many say is a good way to cure the isolation blues and avoid depression), this hike beautiful! And to top it off, the trail ends with a waterfall which flows into a pool that you can swim in... if you're adventurous. I still cannot believe this beauty exists so close to my home and I'm just now see it! It's also good exercise, especially the end (more details below). Even the drive is pretty, with overlooks that offer an incredible view of the city! All of this, and its only a short drive out of Los Angeles! 2. Location In the city of Altadena, located here, it's an easy drive no matter what area you are coming from in Southern California. Since traffic is still light right now, the drive time was only about 45 mins from the Mid City Los Angeles area. As you drive up the mountain, you'll see signs for Angeles National Forests; where you are headed. The drive is beautiful, the roads are windy so take your time and drive slow. You'll want to anyway because the views along the drive are beautiful. Once you get higher into the mountains, you'll likely lose phone service, so make sure you're prepare for this. As you approach the trail area, you'll see signs for "Switzer Picnic Area", this is where you want to go. BONUS: Make sure to stop along the mountain at one of the many look out points, on your drive up. Stop to take a photo or just admire the view over the city. 3. Details Right now the park is closed, so you can't park your car down the hill at the picnic area. However, there's parking at the top of this hill (they aren't charging, so its free to park). Once you park, you can walk down the driveway into the picnic area and start your hike. NOTE: the walk up this drive way is NO JOKE, its a steep incline for a good 10 mins (on pavement). So after you finished the hike, be prepared for a good workout that'll get your heart rate up. As you start the trail, it begins in the picnic area which includes charcoal grills and restrooms (neither are being attended to due to quarantine). However, if you brought your own charcoal and fire, I don't see why you couldn't use the grills. Once you pass the picnic area you'll walk over a creek/river with a mini waterfall. From there, the trail begins as you hike along side this flowing creek (nearly the whole time). The trail starts in a woodsy shaded area along this creek. As you start to incline, there isn't much shade and won't see much of the creek anymore, but you can still hear it flowing since it is beneath you in the ravine. The hike to the waterfall is about 4 miles. And the total trek there and back can be about 3 hours, depending on whether you decide to hop in and go for a swim at the falls. 4. The Path is an Adventure If you are looking for a hike with a defined dirt or paved pathway, this is not the trail for you. You'll have to be creative with this one. There is a recognizable path but it's definitely not a smooth road. A lot of the path is lined with small rocks and uneven grounds, so you'll have to watch your step. At points you will even cross over the small river. It's not hard but you'll need to step from rock to rock or over logs to avoid getting wet. Make sure to test the rocks and logs before stepping to them completely. Some are slippery and others move, so if you're not careful you might land in the river. I enjoy this hike because the undefined path made things more interesting and it was fun to maneuver across the river. 5. Not for the Fear of Heights If you have a fear of heights, there are parts of this trail that can make your stomach sink. Luckily, as you walk up the mountain side the path smooths out so it won't be as uneven as the start, however the path can get a bit narrow. With this narrow trail going up a mountain side, you'll be eerily close to the edge of cliff at times and the fall to the ravine is pretty deep. Some areas have a "slight" fence to protect you from a fall, however most areas do not. Tip: Be very careful, honestly a slip in some areas could be traumatic. 6. The trail is GORGEOUS Like I mentioned earlier this trail includes a flowing creek that leads to major falls. But it's not only the creek and falls that make it beautiful. It's dark and woodsy in areas, then green and bright in others. There are areas of white granite stone outposts that pop against the contrast of the greens of the trees surrounding these areas. At the waterfall the falls break off the white granite stone, into a pool that continues flowing through the creek. It is absolutely stunning and so peaceful! 7. The Falls To me this is the biggest selling feature, a waterfall near LA, I'm still impressed! I definitely took a lot of time to admire the view here. You can even hop in to take a swim. If you plan to swim, beware the water is FREEZING! I wasn't brave enough to jump in but others I was with were, and now I'm kinda bummed I didn't jump in. BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ. Before you go, remember the following: ONLY for Experienced Hikers - This hike requires a lot of maneuvering over rocks, rivers, and logs, so I wouldn't go if you may have trouble with this. Pack Water - This trail can get hot, and you'll want to stay hydrated. Wear Sunscreen - This trail has areas of sun and depending on what time you go the waterfall will have sunlight too. Make sure your skin is protected. Wear Shoes with Grip - I've mentioned you'll have to hop from rocks or logs that can be wet, make sure your shoes have grip to minimize any injuries. Beware of Steep Cliffs - I mentioned this path includes a lot of unprotected areas with sharp cliffs. Make sure to be careful in these areas. Wildlife - We didn't see any wildlife and weren't bothered by bugs but this is nature so beware. For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here. So head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Check out the full video, on YouTube Channel, here Please subscribe, like and comment on my page. Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.

Hike to this Amazing Waterfall, right outside Los Angeles, CA

Experience the Magic of Nature - Bioluminescence Waves Breaking across SoCal

5 Things You Want to Know about This Magical Experience Picture Credit: Joanne Paquette Looking for a way to unplug with free entertainment that will blow your mind? If you've visited by blog, you may know now about my love for nature and all of its beauty. So by saying this experience was one of the most amazing and MUST SEE sightings I've seen in Los Angeles, I hope you're intrigued to take some time to see it your self. Last week while taking a social distancing walk near Santa Monica beach, a lady approached us asking if we could walk her closer to the beach. It was dark and she was scared to walk alone. She explained she was heading down to see the bioluminescence waves a friend had informed her about. Knowing nothing about this, but in an interest to help, we decided to walk her down; and I am so grateful we did! Not only did it lead to one of the most incredible sightings in my life, she explained how appreciative she was, after feeling so alone while being locked down. I mention this story because I think it's important that we don't lose our humanity with all the fear in the world today. We can still help one another and enjoy nature while obeying the rules that are in place today. Learn how you can take in this incredible exhibit of nature while still maintaining social distance and respecting our beach closures. Let's take some time to unplug and catch the magic of nature without even having to step foot on the sand. Here are the Top 5 Things I Learned About Bioluminescent Waves & How You Can Experience Them…. 1. What is It? These bioluminescent waves are said to be caused by microscopic phytoplankton, which numbers increase as the water warms. The shakeup of the waves cause these organisms to release this light as a defense system (which is also released when they come into contact with predators). This is called bioluminescence, a biochemical release of light by organisms. Therefore, these microscopic phytoplankton, release an electric blue light as a protection from their "threat" or as waves shake. 2. What Do you See? The biochemical released by these organisms, releases this electric blue light, and with the influx of this plankton in the water right now, an illuminance blue wave is created in the dark of the night. Bright blue waves have been seen across the Southern California coast from San Diego and up to Malibu. 3. When Should I Go? Because these organisms increase in warmer waters, these illuminance shows tends to be seen as the water warms with the summer months. Therefore, the warmer temperatures in SoCal, have brought these organisms out. When the first sightings are spotted, they say they can be seen for months after but others only a week. Since they’ve been being spotted as early as the end of April, I recommend heading out as soon as you can! It is also recommended to go about 2 hours after sunset. So with the sunset currently around 7:30pm PST, I would say to head out around 9/9:30pm. Also, it is best to go when the moon is not out or as bright. 4. Where Can I See This? Around, southern California, if you head out, you’ll want to choose a beach that is darker. We went to Santa Monica beach which was a bit harder to see due to the lights from Santa Monica pier but later went closer to Manhattan where it was darker I recommend choosing a darker beach so you can see the color more vividly. Newport & Huntington Beaches have been said to have some of the greatest sightings. 5. What to Expect? As expected, this show brings out other spectators, so practice your social distancing and stay off the beaches. You can still catch a great show away from the beach, especially if it is dark! Therefore if you follow these tips, I feel this experience is a great way to respect our stay at home orders, while still enjoying the beauty of nature. Also, if you don't respect these orders, some beaches are ticketing anyone who steps on the beach. Tickets have been issued for upto $1000 in fines. Check out these waves we caught, while still at a distance from the beach. Amazing! Head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos from your experience chasing this phenomenon.

Experience the Magic of Nature - Bioluminescence Waves Breaking across SoCal

Visit Sturtevant Falls, Best Family Friendly Hike / Waterfalls in Los Angeles

What You Need To Know About Sturtevant Falls - Hike a 60ft Waterfall Plus my BONUS recommendations how to prepare for this waterfall adventure WATCH the complete video on Sturtevant Falls here Or check out my journey to another LA waterfall, here. Looking for an escape into nature the whole family can enjoy? Discover an incredibly scenic and simple to hike that will lead you right to a stunning 60 foot Waterfall. This hike is short and easy, which makes it a great option for kids. Most importantly, they can cool off and play in the water right below the waterfall. Since the water is pretty shallow and surrounded by rocks and even a dirt beach, you can relax along side as the kids splash around! And you don't need kids to enjoy, I went with two of my girlfriends and we had an amazing time dipping in the falls and relaxing between hikes there and back. Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Sturtevant Falls 1. Where is it? Located in the San Gabriel Mountains at: Chantry Flat Rd, Arcadia, CA 91006 The entry to this hike to Sturtevant Falls is about a 45 min drive outside Mid-city Los Angeles, CA. To get there take the 210, to the Santa Anita Avenue exit on Arcadia and then follow the windy road to Chantry Flats. This is where you can park. This is one of the best waterfalls I have seen in LA, only a short drive followed by a simple hike to get there. 2. Need to Know You'll need to buy an Adventure Pass to park at Chantry Flats. I recommend getting this because they monitor the parking and there are only very few spots aside the mountain drive that do not require pass parking. You can pick up a day pass for $5 or buy an annual pass for $30. To purchase a pass, visit any of the any of stores listed, here. On the weekends, you can buy a pass at the Adam's Pack Station at Chantry Flat when you get there. 3. Details In addition to parking, Chantry Flats has restrooms and drinking fountains available to use before and after your hike. Pets are allowed on this trail but they are required to be leased. Phone service is sparing atop the mountain, and you will likely lose full service along the hike. The hike to Sturtevant Falls rather short at about 3.2 miles for the round trip. Depending on how long you spend at the falls, the total trip will take about 2-3 hours. Different from other hikes, you start at the top of the mountain and hike down. Therefore, the hike back is more challenging as you will start the uphill climb on your return. The hike is rather easy though, with an elevation change of only around 300ft. Also, most of the trail is paved, or distinctly lined by a dirt path. There are a few time where you will walk over a creek by hopping over logs and rocks. Depending on the time of the day, the paved portion of the path can get a lot of sunlight however once you get into the trail below it is very shaded. 4. Trail Description The trail includes many picturesque spots, starting with the very beautiful outlook over valley at out to the neighboring hills and mountains. Because this trail breaks off to two waterfalls, Sturtevant Falls and Hermit Falls (which we need not go to on this trip) there are creeks flowing along the trail which you will walk over or along side. There is a cute footbridge that takes you into the canyon and is a great place to stop for a photo because includes a large damn as the backdrop, which runs into the creek which flows below the bridge and is surrounded lots of greenery. You will walk along side or over this creek for most of the hike. The sounds of nature and the water flowing is very peaceful. The greenery of this trail continues as you walk through Fern Lodge Junction know as Fiddler's crossing and continue down the path towards the falls. You'll notice some cabins along the trail, called Robert's Camp. These are older historical cabins, some of which are still used today. 5. The Falls Finally after about a 1.5 mile hike, you will reach a dead end to the most beautiful point where you will discover the 60ft waterfall! This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have seen because the fall is so tall and when the sunlight comes in can reflect incredible rainbow lights. The water is chilly but is it very refreshing. It is not deep, only about waist height for an average sized adult. The cliff and falls are surrounded by rocks and areas where you can sit and enjoy the scenery. BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ. Before you go, remember the following: A Hike for all ages - This a hike that all ages can enjoy! The mostly paved cement and dirt paths make it easy to navigate, plus its not too long. Pack Water - This is a reverse hike, meaning the incline will come at the end, pack some water to stay hydrated. Wear Sunscreen - Even though the trail is shaded most of the way, there are areas where you might get a lot of sun. To be safe make sure your skin is protected. Wear Bug Spray -This trail can get deep into the woods so there are quite a few bugs. Bring a Towel - This waterfall includes a beautiful pool beneath the falls, on a hot day a quick deep or swim in the water is very refreshing! Look out for a Hidden Path - If you are looking for more excitement, about a quarter down the initial ramp paved path, there is a hidden dirt trail that will detour you to Hermit Falls! What you will find at Hermit Falls..... For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here. So head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Check out the full video, on YouTube Channel, here Please subscribe, like and comment on my page. Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.

Visit Sturtevant Falls, Best Family Friendly Hike / Waterfalls in Los Angeles

The Most Breathtaking Waterfall in Los Angeles - but it comes with some DANGER

What You Need To Know About Escondido Falls A MUST read before you head out WATCH the complete video on Escondido Falls - here Or check out my journey to another LA waterfall, here. Looking for a hike that's a real adventure? Want to discover a waterfall that is unbelievably breath taking? When I first heard about this trail via pictures and tag post, I of course was blown away by the beauty of these falls. Yet no one mentioned the intense trek required to get to the top of this mountain where Escondido Falls begins. So let me fill you in on what to expect. The trail starts off from Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu. There is parking at the trail entrance (for $8) off Winding Way Road. This lot tends to fill quickly so we parked (for FREE) along the side of Pacific Coast Hwy. As you walk up this paved street towards the trail, you will literally be walking through a gorgeous neighborhood with beautiful homes, landscapes and views of the ocean. There is a dirt trail along the right side of the street that residents ask guest to use so they are not in the street. You will walk up this hill top, donned with amazing views of the mountains, Pacific Ocean and local homes, and then downward where the actual hike trail begins. Read on below to learn all you need to know when planning your trip to Escondido Falls. Top 5 Things you MUST Know about Escondido Falls 1. Where is it? Located in the Santa Monica Mountains, starting at: 27200 Winding Way Malibu, CA 90265 The entry to this hike is off Pacific Coast Hwy and Winding Way Rd. Its about a 45 min drive from Mid-City Los Angeles. There is a paid parking lot off Winding Way Rd. as well as lots of FREE street parking along Pacific Coast Hwy. **Note if parking on Pacific Coast Hwy, be extra careful getting out of your car because there is little room to open your car door and get out with the traffic flying by along side** Everyone lists this hike as "easy" however if you want to hike to the Big Falls, it is nothing close to easy. 2. There is a hike and then there is a climb If you are looking to hike to the big falls, you must be prepared. It's more of a climb than a hike. But let's first talk about the overall hike first. Then we will get into the climb to the falls. As I mentioned earlier, the hike starts off with an uphill hike through a beautiful neighborhood with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The residents of the area ask that you use the dirt path along the right side of the street versus walking up the paved drive they use to get to their homes. Once you reach the top of this hill, the street begins downward towards the mountains. Near the bottom is where you will see the entrance to the trail. The path from this point is all dirt and rather flat, therefore it is a rather easy hike to the first waterfall. The trail has areas of shade and open areas with lots of sunlight, so be sure to wear some sunscreen. The views of the mountains ahead and all around are beautiful; you somewhat feel like you are in a desert area vs Malibu. This trail ends at a beautiful yet smaller 50 ft waterfall. The hike to this point is only ~ 1.75 miles from the trail start and again is pretty easy. But it is from here when you have the choice to climb to the unbelievable 3 tiered falls of Escondido Falls. 3. The climb Off to the right of this first waterfall is a hidden dirt hill that can easily be missed. If other hikers were not coming down from their trip, we would have missed it ourselves. Up on top of this climb, is where the stunning 150 ft waterfall sit. This climb is around another ~550 ft elevation, so it gets pretty high. And given the climb from this first fall to the big falls is only another .15 miles in distance, it is another ~200 ft in elevation, making it very steep! To be honest, this was one of the most intense climbs I have ever done and we weren't expecting it. You will literally be climbing on your hands and feet up this mountainside of slippery dirt and rocks. There are points that are so steep, ropes have been tied to trees to help climbers to pull their way up and minimize the risk of sliding or falling down. Other climbers are very helpful due to its strenuous endeavor. To respect the other climbers, it is best to climb in single lines spacing yourselves out incase any people or rocks slip. Make sure you are very careful, watching each your steps, testing both rocks, branches and dirt before completely stepping down for your next step. This is especially important when coming back down. Once you make it to the top there is an incredible view of the mountains, before a slight decline that brings you into the opening of this breathtaking waterfall! To give you an idea of the intensity, the time it took for us to climb to the big falls from the smaller waterfall was almost the same amount of time it took us to hike from the trail entrance to the smaller fall. **Note: I'd recommend bringing a backpack to hold any items you bring with you since you will need both of your hands free for this climb. 4. The Big Falls When we final got to this big fall, I have to admit I was blown away (and out of breath lol). The color, the sounds, the smell and the feeling from the misting water splashing off the cliffs edge was so invigorating. The waterfall is very green with a tropical look due to the green moss that grows on the rocks of the falls. The sounds of the water cascading from each tier of the falls down to the small pond beneath it is so calming. And the smell and feeling of the clean crisp water splashing and misting over you is so refreshing! There is a large cave-like section at the first tier of the falls which we saw a lot of people climb into. But you must be careful. The climb to this cave is incredibly slippery. The rocks leading to the cave have been drenched with water so they've built up a slippery layer. I was about to start my climb to the cave when a women fell and hurt herself pretty bad. So unfortunately I didn't make it to this point. If you do plan to climb to the cave, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL! Make sure you have support and don't forget you still have to climb back down the mountain before you make it to flat road again. 5. The Trip Overall the trip from start to finish (at our car) was only about 3.5 miles, and a total elevation of ~550 ft. We finished the trip in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. We did take time at the big waterfall to enjoy the view. I have to admit this was one of the most amazing and rewarding hikes I have ever done! Both myself and my friend were excited about the challenge of the climb and the reward of knowing we accomplished it (with only minor cuts on our hands from climbing through the dirt). So, if you are planning to go please see below on a few things I would definitely recommend. BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ. Before you go, remember the following: A Hike for all ages - ONLY if hiking to the smaller waterfall. A Hike for Experienced hikers ONLY - If hiking to the big falls, please only go if you are experienced and in good shape. This is no easy trek. Pack Water - There are 2 inclines on this hike (if planning to climb to the second fall). Plus you will be in direct sunlight at times, so stay hydrated. Wear Sunscreen - Even though the trail has some shaded points, there is lots of open sunlight, especially if climbing to the big fall. Bring a Backpack - If you are climbing to the big fall you need your hands free. Wear Climbing Shoes - The hike to the big fall is extremely intense, you will need good shoes to minimize slipping. Also know that any shoes you wear will be completely covered and filled with dirt. Wear Old Clothes - You're going to be covered in dirt (hands, knees and feet) so wear clothes you don't mind ruining or getting dirty. For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here. So head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Check out the full video, on YouTube Channel, here Please subscribe, like and comment on my page. Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.

The Most Breathtaking Waterfall in Los Angeles - but it comes with some DANGER

Justice of All Means We Must Create Equality For All Black Lives

America, Humanity, it is time for change. We Must Do Better - #blacklivesmatter While I find this to be one of the hardest subjects I have written on; uncomfortable with fear that I message will not deliver how that I hope, I believe my silence on this is more detrimental and would go against all that I believe as well as my main purpose in creating Undeavors. My dream for Undeavors has been to help to end racial prejudices by bringing awareness and acceptance to cultures which are different from our own. In my journey through life, first moving to LA, I became exposed to many cultures while living in Michigan I was not fortunate enough to meet. These interactions helped me learn and develop greater appreciation for America and the many cultures it brings together. In addition, my love for travel, especially internationally, led me to visit new regions and allowed me to interact with, learn from and participate in many traditions which make other cultures unique and special. Through these journeys I developed a stronger love for the differences, the history and the backgrounds that make up other cultures. My goal was to share these stories of the learnings which I had gained through these experiences with others whom might not yet have had an opportunity to embrace with backgrounds from other cultures. I created Undeavors to showcase these stories and all the beauty that exists across every culture. I hoped by sharing these stories, I could help to establish a deeper appreciation for people of different backgrounds and to ultimately begin to breakdown the unconscious bias's I believe so many instill due to a lack of knowledge / understanding of another's culture. "Before you begin to judge another, learn about their journey." Yet, as I started to build this platform, I realized there is still so much we as white Americans must learn and work to understand about the history and backgrounds of black Americans. Over the last few years and especially in this last month, I have learned so much about black American history (and frankly black global history) that I am outraged and disgusted about. I am sadden and disappointed that I had not known more, that had not done more and yet I am just learning! I cannot imagine the pain and suffering our black community has endured and been forced to silence for centuries. So much of our history, including what still goes on today, has suppressed, criminalized and even killed people of color. Still yet most of these stories have been belittled, rewritten or even removed from the teachings and education of our history. This must stop, we must listen, we need to extend our hands and voice to fight for equality of black lives! I am hopeful to see many races come together to stand up, who want to learn, whom want to break the silence, and whom are willing to fight for true equality and justice of black lives! Yet we must not give up and we need more help! I cannot believe it has taken so long that only this year and today, we are finally seeing movements which ban the usage of the confederate flag and which celebrate the our country's true date of independence. And still there is so much more we need to continue to fight for to end the discriminations and mistreatments black lives face! I am happy to see changes finally being made to help with this movement, however we must not give up, we must still learn, we must still listen, we must continue to come together to break the silence, to continue the fight, to stand up for equal rights so that all lives, which means black lives can finally receive the same justices, fairness and freedoms of all! We ALL must come together to fight for rights, justice & equality of black lives! You have now seen the violence, the policing, the incarceration, the suppression, the inequality that one race endures. So I ask my non-black community.... If you believe that all lives matter, then today stop fighting back when you hear "black lives matter". If you take the time to listen, you can not deny for all lives truly feel as if they matter, we as individuals, we as a country and as a world have to recognize the inequality and fight that black lives matter in the same way your life matters! Please stop turning your head because you don't understand! "If you say all lives matter, you have missed the message. For all lives to matter, we need to take care of and treat black lives better! Black Lives NEED to Matter! I will leave you will this, on this day today June 19th, 2020; our country has celebrated the independence of our nation as of July 4,1776, yet on this day not all Americans were free. It wasn't until almost 100 years later this day, June19th, 1865; that an executive order was placed to finally set all the enslaved / black lives free. So why is it that we "all" of America celebrates our independence on July 4th, however "black lives" were not independent/free until almost 100 years later on June 19th? If we as a nation can celebrate our independence from England, why does our nation not celebrate the independence of our black people? Thank you for reading. I hope this message can open even just one eye to see that we have done a VERY bad job at showing our black community that their lives matter! I hope this leaves you with a bit of understanding of why the black community needs our help. I hope this can touch you to learn more, to think before you judge, to lend a helping hand to push the systems to END black inequalities, to STOP black discrimination and to fight for a world where black lives can finally be equal! #blacklivesmatter #makejuneteethanationalholiday #juneteeth

Justice of All Means We Must   Create Equality For All Black Lives

California Trails are OPEN and its Social Distancing Approved!

Now that trails are open, people are flocking to get out. I've found a trail you can experience nearly all to yourself. Here are 5 Things You Need To Know About This Secret Hike Trail Plus BONUS recommendations Check out the video footage of this trip, here. So Cal Quarantined Approved Adventures! Take time to get outside, get fresh air and experience nature. With trails and beaches now open in Southern California, you can probably imagine the crowds that are coming out. So, if you're worried about finding a trail that's not packed, I have just the trail for you! Visit Van Tassel Trails! Top 5 Things I Learned about Van Tassel Trails 1. Social Distance Approved! If you're concerned popular trails will be packed with people finally able to hike, Van Tassel Trail is the perfect hike for you. This trail was practically empty! Along the hike, we only passed one or two people. One of those being a horse owner from the neighboring equestrian center (Encanto Equestrian Center - still closed to the public). So, minus these 2 people, and few horse we passed, we pretty much had this entire trail all to ourself. 2. Location Only a short distance outside LA, it's an easy drive no matter what area you are coming from (in the LA area). Traffic is minimal along these freeways, right now, so drive time can be around 35 minutes. Once you exit the freeway, there are only a couple small turns you'll have to look out for; some roads are a bit hidden (especially turning onto Encanto Parkway/Fish Canyon Road and Van Tassel Mtwy) but other than that, the drive is very easy! Parking was simple, there is a small parking lot just passed the trail entrance on the left. You can park along the street. 3. It's a BEAUTIFUL Scene The view from this trail is gorgeous, (check out the full video here). With the weather being so nice lately, the mountains are very green. So the views of the mountains and valley are extra colorful. Also as most of my SoCal trailblazers know, many hikes and trails in southern California take you up a mountainside and as you go up, these hikes tend to include lookout points. Van Tassel Trails is no different, not only does this trail include scenic views of the mountains around, you can also stop to overlook the city below. The view includes ponds in the distance, and with the air quality better now, you can even see out to the Santa Ana Mountains. If that wasn't enough, this trail is lined with mini sunflower patches. So for my instagramers looking to catch a photo for the gram, these sunflowers make a viral worthy backdrop. Here's some photos we got. ~ apologizes for my insta photography skills, I am sure any insta influencer can do a much better job turning these sunflowers into #instamodelgoals 4. You May See Wildlife If you like animals, like me, this trail has got you covered! With all the sunflowers and flowers lining the trail, there seemed to be a lot more birds than I typically see hiking. One of my favorites you might see is the Anna's Hummingbird. You'll also see a lot of mini desert lizards. These lizards are all over the trail but since they're scared of us, they're fast so it's hard to catch a photo of these guys/gals. Since this path is typically used as a horse trail when the neighboring equestrian center is open (closed now but open to hikers), you'll even see the horses along the right side of the path as you walk towards the trail. And if you're lucky, like us, you might even get a chance to get up close and personal with one of these horses. We were lucky enough to meet Junior on our walk back. We learned Junior is starting chemo next week, so say a little prayer for this sweet boy! But beware, not all the wildlife you see might be those you'd like to run into. There were a fair share of bees due to the flowers all around and we also saw a small desert snake! 5. It's a Pretty Intense Climb For my people not some much concerned with the view and looking for a new workout, this hike is a good one! The climb up is pretty steep, with a constant incline and not many (if at all) flat paths. So if you're looking to get the heart rate up, or want to get in a booty workout, this hike is a good fit. To prepare for your hike, check out my bonus recommendations below. BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ. Don't forget these things ONLY for Experienced Hikers - This hike is difficult, so don't go to this trail if you aren't experienced or get faint easily Pack Water - This trail can get hot, since you are more inland than while in LA, temps are warmer, plus you'll be out in the sun. Wear Sunscreen - This trail does not include much shade, therefore make sure your skin is protected. Wear Shoes with Grip - What goes up must come down. Since the climb up is intense the walk down is as well. Because the path that is made of rocks and sand, the steep decline can make it easy to slip. We had a few near slide accidents, so be careful! Downhill Technique - we found walking down slowly is a must. Also, walking with your weight in the balls of your feet as well as walking down sideways we found was helpful to minimize slipping. Watch out for Bees - Because there are lots of flowers on this trail, we saw a good amount of bees. None of which bothered us but just be aware. Watch out for snakes - Though we only saw one (thankfully) there are definitely snakes on this trail. They are likely more afraid of you, so they probably won't bother you, just don't climbing around any of their holes. For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here. So head out SoCal, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Check out the full video, here Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.

California Trails are OPEN and its Social Distancing Approved!

Los Cabos, Mexico Is Opening to Tourism in June - Everything You Need To Know

Learn all you need to know about traveling to Cabo post Coronavirus Top 5 Concerns Answered Regarding Traveling to Cabo following Quarantine Ready to set off to paradise? Parts of Mexico will begin opening in June with Cabo now set to reopen to tourism June 22. If you are looking to plan your first post-coronavirus trip, here is how Cabo is planning their tourism roll-out... Phase 1 (June) — Limited travel; focused on implementing new health and safety standards. Phase 2 (July) — International terminal (Terminal 2) opening. Prior to all flights will come in through Terminal 1. Phase 3 (August to September) — Slowly increasing national and international flights. Phase 4 (October to December) — 60 percent of bookings projected to come back by year end. Phase 5 (Q1 of 2021) — 60 percent flight connections projected to be restored with 80 percent of bookings estimated to come back. Now let's get into Everything You Need to Know to plan your Post Coronavirus Cabo Vacation. 1. Flights: The following airlines are now operating flights into Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). Alaska Airlines: from Los Angeles (LAX) American Airlines: from Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), or Phoenix (PHX) Delta/AeroMexico: from Mexico City (MEX) VivaAerobus: from Mexico City (MEX) Volaris: from Tijuana (TIJ), Guadalajara (GDL), or Mexico City (MEX). With airlines below set to resume services soon... Southwest Airlines: June 7th Spirit Airlines: July 5th Sun Country Airlines: July 1st Sunwing: June 26th United Airlines: June 4th 2. Airport Transfers: Airport Shuttles, Transfers and Taxi will also be operating, so transportation to your hotel should not be problem. I would recommend scheduling your shuttle ahead of time as shuttles will not be taking their normal capacities. 3. Hotels: To accommodate the lift on the travel ban, hotels will be opening as early as June 1st. Below are details on new hotel guidelines and the roll-out schedule for popular hotel openings. Capacity: Hotels will not open to full capacity so they can ensure proper social distancing measures will be in place for guests and staff. Amenities: Services, facilities and amenities; such as pools, spas, gyms, restaurants and bars are expected to be open. There will be extra health and cleaning protocols in place to ensure the safety and health of both guest and staff. Please contact hotel directly for specifics on what this entails for each hotel. Cabo Hotels Reopening Schedule: Reopening June 1st Alegranza AR Luxury Suites Bahia Hotel Baja Cabo Cabo Country Club Cabo Inn Cabo Villas Cactus Inn Casa Costa Azul Casa del Mar Casa Dorada Casa Natalia City Express Plus City Suites Comfort Inn Estancia Real Fairfield Inn Four Seasons Grand Solmar Land’s End Grand Velas Hacienda Encantada Hampton Inn Hard Rock Hotel Hilton Los Cabos Holiday Inn Hotel Aeropuerto Hotel del Angel Hotel Dos Mares Hotel El Ganzo Hotel J y M Hotel Santa Fe Hyatt Place JW Marriott La Marina Inn Las Palmas Las Ventanas al Paraiso LCH Goldscape Le Blanc Spa Resort Live Aqua Los Milagros Los Patios Mar de Cortez Mar del Cabo Mariamar Suites Marina Fiesta Medano Hotel Mirador del Cabo Montage Los Cabos One & Only Palmilla Palmilla Dunes Palo Verde Paradisus Los Cabos Park Royal Playa Grande Plaza Los Arcos Posada Antonio Posada Real Posada Terranova Quinta del Sol Real Dorado Riu Santa Fe Royal Solaris Santa Maria Senor Manana Seven Crown Express Siesta Suites Tesoro Los Cabos The Bungalows Tropicana Inn Villa del Palmar Westin Los Cabos Reopening June 8th Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Pueblo Bonito Rose Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Pueblo Bonito Montecristo Estates Reopening June 10th Sheraton Hacienda del Mar The Cape, A Thompson Hotel Reopening June 16th Solmar Resort Cabo Azul Resorts Reopening June 18th Reflect Krystal Los Cabos Reopening July 1st Barcelo Gran Faro Los Cabos Breathless Cabo San Lucas Casa del Mar Club Regina Dreams Los Cabos Hyatt Ziva ME Cabo Riu Palace Los Cabos Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Sirena del Mar Solaz Viceroy Los Cabos Villa del Arco Zadun, A Ritz Carlton Reserve 4. Offsite Attractions Restaurant, Bars and Shops Most local businesses will be open, while limiting their capacity to maintain social distancing guidelines. They have also incorporated new protocols for safe hygiene measures. Masks are not mandatory once in Cabo but you will need to bring a mask for the flight. Many airlines will require masks for flying, and some workers around the city may be expected to wear masks and gloves depending on the services provided. However, guests are not expected to have to wear masks while practicing social distancing standards. Golf Courses Most local courses will be open and will also be sanitizing rental equipment more thoroughly. Excursions; Water Sports, Snorkeling, Motor Carts, etc. Many excursion trips and activities will resume but they are recommending you book in advance since they need to plan accordingly due to new capacity guidelines. 5. Cancellation Policies Airlines Most airlines have waived fees for re-bookings required due Coronavirus concerns, however not all are offering refunds. Instead, if you need to cancel your flight, most airlines will provide vouchers towards future travel versus money back. However, as airlines start increasing their schedules with travel bans being lifted, I recommend checking the cancellation policies before booking, as these policies are changing daily. Hotels Now that hotels are opening up, many are offering great prices. Although, with many of these outstanding promotions, hotels are making these deals non-refundable. Some hotels are still offering 24-hour cancellation policies. But since these policies vary by hotel and can change by the day, I would recommend reading all the fine print or calling to confirm their policies before booking. Now that you know what is happening for Cabo San Lucas travel, check out my recommendations on what you can do while you're there. Read more here on: What Can Still Enjoy & What I Recommend Doing on Your Cabo Trip. Please ask questions, comment and share your feedback here!

Los Cabos, Mexico Is Opening to Tourism in June - Everything You Need To Know

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - What you Need to know

Here are the Top 6 Things you need to do in Cabo Plus new post Coronavirus Tips Looking forward to take a vacation post quarantine? With Cabo San Lucas opening this June, find everything you need to know for booking, here. Now that you know all the new changes in place for traveling to Cabo, let's talk about what I recommend. HERE ARE THE TOP 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IN CABO 1. Relax It has been a stressful rough couple months. Take some time to enjoy a break. Relax in the sand or by the pool. Two hotels I have stayed at which are nice, quiet, and relaxing are: JW Marriott (opening In June 1) Cabo Azul Resort (opening June 16) Grand Mayan All are on the San Jose del Cabo side which is only about 20 minutes from SJD airport and about 30 minutes from Downtown Cabo San Lucas (near the Marina). 2. Take A Trip to s Lover Beach Located at the tip of Cape San Lucas, on the Sea of Cortez side of Land’s End at Cabo San Lucas is one of the most iconic beautiful beaches, called Lover's Beach or Playa de los Amantes. The best way to get there is by water taxi from the Marina. There are also water taxi's on the beaches in front of the hotels across from the Marina. This beach is iconic because of it's soft sand that is surrounded by larger, towering rocks and water on two sides. It is a beautiful sight with large waves that crash onto the beach from the Pacific side, making it very dangerous and not recommended to swim in. On the bay side, however is much calmer water, where you can swim, kayak or even jump from some of the smaller rocks into the water. 3. See Some Sea Life Take some time to check out beautiful creatures of the ocean. Depending on how adventurous you are, make sure you see some of the sea life. Whether it be jumping into the water to snorkel and swim with the fish, taking a boat ride out to chase dolphins, or whale watching (during the seasonal months of mid-December to mid-April), I definitely recommend any of these. These are photos from our trip in Feb of the whales we saw from our boat. 4. Water Sports In the Bay I love action, and the bay of Cabo San Lucas is the perfect setting for water sports. You feel a bit safer because you have land on three sides. Not to mention the whole time you have an amazing view of the Arch of Cabo! We rented jetskis, partook in banana boat rafting and kayaked around the bay. The water was perfect for this! The beach is filled with locals selling these adventures, so you won't have any trouble finding them. Just walk from your hotel to the beach and to be honest, they will find you. They allow you to barter with them on pricing so don't accept the first offer, negotiate and you'll likely get a better price. Plus don't feel bad ( I always do) but they start higher in price because they know they will be negotiating. 5. Go out for Taco's and Mezcal Cabo is known for finding good tacos and drinks. We found a place called La Lupita that has 2 locations one in San Jose del Cabos & the other in Cabo San Lucas. Not only did this place have AMAZING food, the drinks were incredible and they had great live music! So you could spend a good amount of time here, eating, drinking and enjoying the night (outside under the stars), that's right the restaurant had an open roof giving it a cool fun Mexican Vibe. They have so many variations of tacos; chicken, duck, beef, pork, lamb, veggie and every type of seafood you can think of. We tried a variation and we didn't have any we didn't like, however I suggest trying these: mediterranean octopus taco (middle taco) cheese shell taco (right taco) Also make sure to try some of the ceviche. And for drinks, the place is called La Lapita, taco & mezcal for a reason. The have pretty much any mezcal you can think of. I love mezcal so this was heaven for me. If you like mezcal, I definitely recommend trying any drink with their recommend mezcal. I had a mezcal margarita which seems pretty basic but with the mezcal it adds a rich smoke taste! 6. Head out Downtown Now that you've had a drink, lets head downtown toward the marina for some dancing! Many of the bars are near, Lázaro Cárdenas so if you start there you can walk around and hop in one place to the next. Cabo bars are all ages, young and old come together to dance, and have fun! So, now you've got all the tips on what to do in Los Cabo, enjoy and have fun. For more details on the new traveling guidelines for Los Cabos, including opening plans, please see: Everything you Need to know about the tourism restriction lifts for Cabo San Lucas Please comment and share your stories here!

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - What you Need to know

Solstice Canyon - Spectacular Views, a bit of History and a Peaceful Waterfall.

What You Need To Know About Solstice Canyon - Hike this scenic & historic trail. Plus my BONUS recommendations how to prepare for this waterfall adventure WATCH the complete video on Solstice Canyon & Falls here Or check out my journey to other waterfalls by visiting my channel, here. Looking for a hike that is not only gorgeous but includes some history? Discover the unbelievable views and interesting ruins left along this trail, which includes a peaceful waterfall. Depending on whether you make this whole trek of this trail or just want simple hike to the falls, this hike can go from simple to somewhat extreme. There are two routes you can take: Solstice Canyon Trail - which is simple, flat and historic Rising Sun Trail - which is extreme, uphill and scenic And if you want both just make the full trek like we did. We started with the simple Solstice Canyon Trail which was mainly flat and led into the valley towards the waterfall. Along this trail you are in the sunlight for most of the trip surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains. This path takes you through a woodsy area which includes a flowing creek fed into the peaceful falls. You can walk to the the historical landmarks; which includes the Keller House and The Roberts Ranch. After approaching the waterfall, you can head up Rising Sun Trail to take in all the amazing views. Continuing onto this trail is a great workout, so prepare your booty for some work! Below I have shared the Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Solstice Canyon And before you head out, watch this video to see the adventure & learn more about the hike Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Solstice Canyon 1. Where is it? Located in the Santa Monica Mountains at: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265 The entry to this hike is off Corral Canyon Rd / Roberts Rd which turns into Solstice Canyon Rd. Its about a 50 min drive from Mid-City Los Angeles. There are a few parking lots inside the park. **Note be careful driving in as there is a very narrow road (1 car lane wide) that cars can drive both ways down.** This is hike includes one of the most beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Pacific Ocean! 2. Need to Know This hike is so much more than just a hike; there are views, historical landmarks, a waterfall, and you can even get a great workout. (Read on below for more details about the history, the workout and views.) The trail is in the middle of the mountains, where the fires hit last year so there are trees and areas where you can see the damage. There is also a small creek which flows from the falls. I mentioned there are 2 trails that can loop into one which in total is about 3.2 miles. The climb can be intense. If you take on this challenge up you will get to an elevation of ~800 ft. The Keller House 3. The Historical LandMarks The Solstice Canyon Trail includes the ruins from a few major landmarks to Malibu such as the iconic Keller House or monumental Robert's Ranch. The Keller House is noted as the first house in Malibu, built in 1865. This house or cabin was made of stone and tin. In 2007 the Corral Fires destroyed most of this house, you can see the remains in the photo above. You will also come to the the ruins of Robert's Ranch. Robert's Ranch was the retirement home or "Tropical Terrace" built for Fred Roberts, a local grocery chain entrepreneur and his wife. They began the build of this dream home oasis in the 1930's, when Fred purchased the land and later hired famous architect, Paul Revere Williams to design and build their mansion overlooking Solstice Canyon and Waterfall. Paul Revere Williams, who also designed the Los Angeles Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airpot, was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects. Williams began his work on this home in 1952, using flame resistant materials. But unfortunately, the fire prone location was taken over and the home burnt down in 1982. The ruins left today still stand (as seen in the photo to the right) and many still come to see on their visit to Solstice Canyon. Remains of Robert's Ranch 4. The Falls Along side the remains of The Robert's Ranch runs the peaceful Solstice Falls which flows into a creek that lines the side of the house. There you can take a stone built staircase along this creek up to the top of Solstice Falls. This is a smaller 30 ft fall that cascades into the creek which flows along side the staircase, the Ranch and into a ravine that sits below the earlier part of the trail. This waterfall is in a very serene and calming location surround by rocks and greenery. It is no wonder why Robert's Ranch was built here even given the fire risk. Imagine looking out your window every morning to see a beautiful waterfall, listening to the calming sounds of the flowing creek. Check out the short clip below to see the waterfall. 5. The Trail Besides the history and the waterfall, this trail has some of the best views from the Santa Monica Mountains. On top the mountain not only do you get a stunning view of the mountains all around, you will even have the most amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Here is where the climb will take you to an elevation of ~800 ft. Its no wonder the views are so amazing; you're on top of the world! This can explain why the climb can be quiet vigorous and you'll be climbing for a good amount of time. The nice thing is when you come from the waterfall, the path has many spots that are lined with rock built stairs, making it less risky for slipping. This made for a pretty good booty workout! I was definitely out of breath! As you climb to the top you will also be in direct sunlight for most of the time so make sure to wear sunscreen and/or a hat and know it can get really hot! After you reach the top its another trek back down, and because it isn't super steep, you can run down for an added workout (like we did)! Again this total loop from Solstice Canyon to Rising Sun Trail is ~3.2 miles long which took us about an hour and half. BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ. Before you go, remember the following: A Hike for all ages - This a hike that all ages can enjoy! The Solstice Canyon Trail is pretty flat plus you can take in a lot of history. However the hike up Rising Sun Trail is a bit more strenuous and may require a more experienced hiker. Pack Water - Especially if you are hiking up Rising Sun Trail, the incline is drastic and mostly in the sun so you'll want to stay hydrated. Note - there is a drinking fountain at the entrance. Wear Sunscreen / Hat - Even though the trail has shaded parts, there are areas where you might get a lot of sun, especially when climbing up Rising Sun to the mountain top. Bring a Camera - The old buildings and history are very cool, and the views are very picturesque. You'll definitely want some photos! Look out for the Path - The loop up to Rising Sun Trail from the waterfall can be a bit confusing because there is some work happening. Make sure to look out as you will need to hop over the creek to continue on. Drive Carefully - the road to the parking is VERY narrow only one car can fit so be very careful coming down this street. For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here. So head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!! Check out the full video, on YouTube Channel, here Please subscribe, like and comment on my page. Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.

Solstice Canyon - Spectacular Views, a bit of History and a Peaceful Waterfall.

My 1st Whine at Trinidad Carnival - Top 10 Things You Need To Know

"The Best Festival in The World", Trinidad Carnival A Newbies Guide to the "Original Carnival" in Trinidad & Tobago Welcome to my first Wine! Join me on this voyage as I experience one of the most historic and ionic festivals globally. Trinidad Carnival... An Unbelievable Experience! Heading to Trinidad Carnival for the first time, I had no idea what I was in for. I was told things about the celebration but unless you experience it yourself, you will never really understand how incredible this tradition and culture truly is! “Trinidad Carnival is an experience that cannot be put in words?" Here is a glimpse into what I learned and what you should know. 1. An Energy Like You've Never Felt. When I first heard about everything that goes on at Trinidad Carnival, I asked how will have the energy to walk, dance and wine for two full days, after multiple days of fetes, all on little to no sleep? And then you land in Trinidad.... You notice an energy you’ve likely never experienced before! You will feel so much excitement and general love from everyone around you. It’s something I can’t explain but I guarantee you’ll hear everyone say. From the early fetes to the end of Las Lap, the music, the vibe and the energy together creates a feeling you've never felt elsewhere. And then comes Carnival Tuesday..... You put your costumes on, you gather with the other masqueraders, you hear the Soca sounds, you see all the elaborate colors, you feel the positive carefree vibes, you are filled with energy! Its euphoric! 2. All Are Accepted. To my surprise Trinidad was one of the most diverse countries I have ever visited. Influences that come from Indian, African, Portuguese, Amerindian, Spanish, Chinese, and so many other beautiful cultures, have come together to make up this country. It is probably why Trinidad Carnival is one of the most incredible celebrations on earth! Not only is country made up of so many backgrounds, tourist who come in to celebrate Carnival come in from all countries, all walks of life, all backgrounds, all cultures, all bodies, all ages. All are welcome and so many come together to leave all their worries behind. Trinidad has been built up around Carnival and the locals are so inviting, so proud to share their traditions with the all who visit. All ages; young and old, embrace ALL who come to celebrate their culture! With all the diversity here and all the love for their country, it is no wonder why there is no judgement at Carnival. It is a celebration so diverse, inviting all to embrace the true self, with love and energy all around! 3. You HAVE to Plan Early! Now, that you have an understanding of the vibe at Trinidad Carnival, its no wonder why the event brings in so many visitors each year. Over 40,000 visitors come in from all over the world for the opportunity to experience the culture of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. With all these visitors coming at the same time, in a country who's total yearly visitors is only around 120,000, you may understand why you have to plan early. With limited accommodations and a high influx of tourist, things book early. Some as early as a year in advance. Here is a list of things you will need to book to ensure you are prepared for Carnival. Hotel/House Flights Carnival Band / Costume J'ouvert Band Fete's Car / Transportation Tobago (if looking to check out) Carnival Glam (if looking to have hair, make-up or spray tan done) For a print out version of this list, click here. For more info how to book & when to plan, check out "Top 7 Things You Need To Do To Plan An Epic Trip toTrinidad Carnival" 4. It's An Investment Worth Making If you started your research on my list above, you're probably overwhelmed but I'm here you ease your mind. Here's a general breakdown of some of the average costs you should plan for (in USD): Hotels, ~$400 - 500/night Flights, ~$700 (depends from where) Carnival Band, $500 - $2000 Personal Driver, $50-100 per day Fete's, $50-100 per fete Food (food typically inexpensive) Glam, $40-200 (depends on what you want) Tobago (roundtrip flight $60 + hotel, $200/night) Any Extras Depending on how you plan your trip, your total cost can be upward to $3000-7000 USD. It's worth it, plus there's extras you can get with some of your purchases. Extras include Band - includes Carnival entry and costume, plus many include everything you need for 2 full days and more. Fetes - many include all you can eat and drink. Hotels - many offer free breakfast and shuttles. Most importantly, remember you are paying for a vacation plus an experience you can't get fully anywhere else! For everything you need to know about your band purchase, check out: "Your Carnival Costume - All 5 Things You Must To Know" To help you choose the right band, check out The Official Carnival Band Comparison Guide. 5. It's Full of Culture & History If you are like me and love countries that have history or enjoy learning about new cultures, you'll love Trinidad. I especially love cultures whom are excited to share their traditions with outsiders. Trinidadians are probably some of the most passion people when It comes to inviting others into the celebrations of their heritage. Carnival stems for so much history What is Carnival? Meaning “farewell to meat” and “farewell to the flesh”, it's significant in the timing which takes place every year prior the Catholic Lent and embodied through the carefree spirit that festival goers experience. The History of Carnival The original “carnival” started with wealthy French planters hosting masquerades, dressing in masks and costumes; forbidding their enslaved to participate. The enslaved began to mimic the planters in their own celebrations of masks and costumes. In late 1880s, still banned from celebrations (even after being freed) the British attempted to further crack down on this prohibition, banning the use of percussion instruments. Along came the Canboulay riots, where the freed slaves fought back and created music using steel pans. This is noted as being the introduction of Calpso music. Hear these steel pan sounds still used today at Carnival... 6. Learn the Music The iconic sounds of the steel pans heard in Calpso music, also evolving to Soca music is still carried through in the music today. Because of its roots, music is a MAJOR part of the Carnival experience. Each year new music is released in November, with 100s of new songs filtered down to the top 20-30 which are played repeatedly during the Carnival celebration. Prepare for Carnival by learning the music, it will make your Carnival experience so much better Contests like the "Road March" rewards the most played song as masqueraders cross the stage on Carnival Tuesday! This year in 2020, Stage Not Good Again, by a popular Trini artist KES won. click here to listen. Learning the music is one of the biggest MUST do things to prepare for Carnival The music is way to connect! Imagine attending a concert not knowing the artist vs attending a festival with your favorite artist performing. Here's a video to help you understand the unity in the music! The music is so fun, upbeat and energetic, the more you listen the better you will feel and the more you'll appreciate the culture! 7. There's A Lot of Fetes I mentioned, fetes are parties, and during the Carnival season they are an important way to learning the new music but also to kick off the celebrations. Carnival fetes start after the new year through Carnival. Once you arrive for Carnival, you could literally fete all day long and some people do! I am not who could keep up all day but I definitely recommend attending some of the varying fete themes. With some many fetes and so much going on, make sure to plan out your fetes. Choose from a few themes and remember to make time for rest. Fete themes to attend : Night parties Boat parties Brunches parties Themed parties Cooler Parties J'ouvert (Paint) parties. Definitely make time to attend at least J'ouvert paint party! This is an experience you will never have anywhere else For details on fetes, click here to read more "Your Official Carnival Fete Guide - 5 Steps to Plan / Pack Accordingly" 8. Learn Some Lingo Even though most Trinidadians speak english, they use a lot of terms you may not know. Fortunately for me, before going to Trinidad I heard a lot of the lingo and learned some of their terms. Terms to learn: Play Mas - chosen a masquerade band to participate in Carnival J'ouvert - day break, a colorful celebration including being covered in paint & powder Lime - a gathering or to hang out Fete - celebration, festival, party Bacchanal- drama, scandal, big party, confusion Weys - exclamatory term used when surprised, shocked, or in disbelief. Whine - the dance of Trinidad and Tobago, similar to twerking 9. Make Time To See The Country, including Tobago Trinidad is a beautiful country with natural waterfalls and beaches. Make sure you save time to visit the beaches, see some waterfalls, and if you can make a trip to Tobago. 10. Have Fun! Leave behind any worry… There’s no need to stress. I have to be honest, I personally worried about a lot of things leading up to the trip. Will my costume fit? Would my body be accepted in this costume? Will I feel exposed or uncomfortable around everyone in my costume? Do I have the right shoes? Will I have the energy to go all day? How will I dance if I never learned to whine? And then, you get there. You feel the energy, to see the excitement from the locals, the country and everyone coming to celebrate and forget about the worry. BONUS: Learn to whine.... As someone not from this background, it may seem awkward at first. After I understood, how important it was to the culture and embraced by even the elders, I felt free. I was scared and felt uncomfortable when I let go, I had fun with it I hope you enjoyed my First Whine Take these 10 tips, have fun and take in all the energy around you! Please comment and share your experience here!

My 1st Whine at Trinidad Carnival - Top 10 Things You Need To Know

Top 4 Tips To Prepare For The Long Days of Trinidad Carnival

Everything You Need To Know To Make It Through Carnival Festivities The Trek You'll Make & How Preserve Your Energy for all of Trinidad & Tobago Carnival Welcome to my first Wine! Join me on this voyage as I experience one of the most historic and ionic festivals globally. Come with me on this journey to learn all you need to know about Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. I hope these tips inspire you to live your life to its fullest and hey maybe even plan your trip to Trinidad! “Did you know you will trek about 20 miles each day of Carnival? Here Are Top 4 Things You Need To Know To Last The Long Days of Carnival 1. YOU'LL COVER A LOT OF MILES The actual Carnival aka “Pretty Mas” extends two full days, Monday / Tuesday leading up to Ash Wednesday. These are long days of walking and “wining” aka the national Trini dance, click here to catch me wining. The days typically start around 10am and go through around 9pm but some bands have an extended “Las Lap” Tuesday that can take you into 2am Wednesday. Things To Know: You can be on your feet for ~12 hours/day. In these two days you will likely walk more than you have in the last month, well I did anyway! My Apple iwatch tracked me at a 19.1 miles in one day. With an average amongst my friends of around 20 miles each day. Don't forget this is just for 1 day. Masqueraders will parade the streets, tracking these miles both Monday and Tuesday. But don't forget, if you plan to attend fete's like J'ouvert Monday where more walking is involved you'll add in more even more miles to this. How do miles walked during one Day of Carnival Compare? For my Angelenos, that longer than walking from Downtown LA to Long Beach. For my New Yorkers, that’s like walking the length of Manhattan twice or the length of 100 Empire State Buildings. And my globe trotters that’s longer than the height of 40 Burj Khalifa’s (the tallest building in world today, 828 m / 2717 ft). Again this is all done in one day. So imagine the time on your feet for your entire Carnival experience. 2. PROTECT YOUR FEET Buy bandages and medical tape to wrap your feet before you put on your socks, nylons or fishnets. I recommend these 4 Aids that I found helpful: Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Cushion Tape Cohesive Bandage Self Adherent Flexible Breathable First Aid Gauze/Medical Tape Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products Medical Tough Cloth Tape Nexcare BWB-06 Blister Waterproof Bandages Here's Some Recommendations: Wrap your feet. Wrap around each toe to keep from rubbing and pressing into each other Wrap around areas you tend to blister, ie: outside baby toe, heel outside or bottom of big toe, etc. Wrap or create cushion where there is pressure from feet to shoe/ground, ie: ball of foot, bottoms of toes. Wearing Tights / Nylons / Fishnets? You Need To Read This! Cut toes of any stocking you wear Keeping your toes in any of these stockings will have your toes rubbing together. No bueno, this is blister, cut, pain waiting to happen. Wear socks under these stockings You'll want to wear comfortable socks to keep your feet from rubbing. Socks will also help to soak up any sweat (yes, its hot and your feet can sweat too) Tap your stocking to your sock Tap the opening you created by cutting out the toes to your sock. Try to tap stocking to sock in an area where foot pressure is minimal, ie; arch, top of sock (where can't be seen). Make sure to use the stickiest tape for this, Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products Medical Tough Cloth Tape so tape doesn't slide off. Powder Feet I mentioned before your feet may sweat. Minimize sweat that can create saggy socks, or slippy souls by powdering your feet before putting on your socks. Try using: Baby Powder, Body Powder or Deodorizing Powder like these. A fellow Trinidadian recommended this to me and it was a LIFESAVER that saved my feet! Now let's get into the most exciting.... shoes, shoes, shoes!!! 3. SHOE SUGGETIONS First of all, you'll probably want cute shoes to go with your Monday wear and Tuesday costumes. Here are my Shoe Tips: You likely want multiple pairs. Monday and Tuesday have varying styles, Monday is more casual while Tuesday is more elaborate so may want alternate shoes. You'll need a separate if you're attending a paint fete - they'll get destroyed in paint, mud and water. You may also wear down you're shoes from "D Road" Monday. Don't spend a lot. You're shoes will be put through a lot. Its really about your costume so as long as your shoes blend no need to splurge. Comfort is "key" When picking any shoe, comfort is the priority. Make sure what ever shoe you decide on is comfortable. Splurge on shoe inserts BONUS: You may get free shoes. Some bands include new sneakers (for both men / female) with your costume package! And frankly, these sneakers were super comfortable shoes and free (well kind of). Here's what our Free Sneakers looked like (black = guys, pink = girls)… So what shoes do I wear? So some girls, the courageous I would say, will brave the blister and wear boots; cuz we all know even a small heel of a boot can help our booties look lifted. But as my boyfriend or his favorite Trini, TopDog Donnel would say “not me pa”. But, if you got the feet for it and want to take on the boot, here are some ways to pull it off... Top 5 Boot Looks of Carnival... Links to check out some of these boot recommendations all under $40: Clear Neon Boot Neon Boot Tall Boot Black Boot Metallic Boot I myself knew my feet couldn't make it through the long days in boots. So, I went with sneakers. You won't be alone and can make sneakers cute too. Here's a photo of me and my girlfriend. As you can see I pulled off sneakers and an she went with a boot.(she's braver than me) So if you think you're down to rock the sneaker like I did, here are some looks. 5 Sneaker Looks of Carnival... Links to check out some of these sneaker recommendations all under $40: Metallic Sneaker Glitter Sneaker Wedge Sneaker Sock Sneaker High Top Sneaker For name brand: adidas, nike, pumas under $40, you have to search but its possible. Prices change regularly on Amazon but there is an example of under $40 here Even in sneakers all day my feet took a beating, thankfully we got a lunch time foot massage break And last but not least..... 4. PREPARE YOUR BODY So you can take this a few ways, but here are some suggestions. Up Your Fitness People are definitely upping their fitness game to try looking their best for some of the revealing costumes of Carnival. However, even though everyone says this is a huge thing. Once you get there you'll notice it doesn't really matter. This is an event where I honestly felt no one really cared how you look. One of the most amazing parts of Carnival is the acceptance and celebration you'll experience will others of all races, cultures shapes and sizes! So when I say up your fitness it's mostly to say make sure you're body's prepared to walk, wine and jump for hours on end! Get Your Rest With all that's going on and fetes that start in the wee hours of the morning, your going to operate off shorter hours of sleep. To avoid falling flat or missing events: Make sure to plan times of rest/sleep Bring or Buy Vitamins / Electrolytes With your body operating off less hours of sleep, you might feel groggy and/or lower your immune system. A local let me know most people get sick after Carnival because they aren't prepare for this. I was on the brink of sickness but lucky had help from locals and also brought along some of these vitamins. Vitamins I recommend: (but choose what you prefer for immunity and energy): Zinc Vitamin C Wellness Formula 5 HTP Also digestion pills can be helpful if you have any sensitivity to foods. And finally to the obvious but one we all seem to always forget.... Drink Lots of Water Trinidad is hot, temps can average around 90 degrees, and you will be in the hot sun. On top of that, you'll be wining and walking the streets all day. And if you've got an all-inclusive bands, alcohol is included, so you could be drinking all day too. Make sure to start your days with water Drink water periodically throughout the day Stay hydrated as much as you can! For more on everything you NEED to know about Trinidad Carnival, click here So, now you have ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR THE LONG DAYS OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO CARNIVAL TRIP, enjoy it and have the time of your life. Please comment and share your experience here!

Top 4 Tips To Prepare For The Long Days of Trinidad Carnival